It feels like summer is slowly coming to an end and then we get a nice hot couple days to let us know it’s not quite gone. Sorry about no boxletter last week, life got in the way. But I’m back! I often feel like summer boxes don’t need as much assistance as our off season, but it’s always nice to have some new ideas once in a while.
Slow Roasted Tomatoes
These are a staple in my house. If I can keep from eating them all immediately, I freeze them in quart size freezer bags to use in soups and stew and toss with pasta. I typically use roma tomatoes, but our big beefy tomatoes at the farm will do just fine and be all the sweeter. 200 degrees is the optimal oven setting, but 250 will work or as low as your oven will let you. I mostly throw these in at about 10 or 11pm and let them go low and slow all night, pulling them out by 5 or 6am. It’ll throw you in the middle of the night when your house is filled with the delicious scent of roasty toasty tomatoes, but it will be sooo worth it. You can do them during the day too if you’re not comfortable with leaving your oven on all night while you sleep of course.
1/4 C. Olive oil, plus additional for baking sheet
5-6 cloves garlic, minced
Salt and Pepper
Preheat oven to 200. Combine garlic and olive oil. Cut smaller tomatoes in half, larger ones in wedges or good 3/4” slices. If you have particularly juicy fruit, remove some of that liquid as it will just slow the roasting process.
Lightly oil rimmed baking sheet. Spread tomato pieces out on sheet pan. Drizzle with olive oil/garlic mixture and sprinkle with salt and pepper.
Put tomatoes in oven and roast 6-8 hours, or longer if needed. They should be a bit shriveled and slightly caramelized. Let cool and do what you will with them. But beware, they sweeten up like candy and will mysteriously disappear from the pan if left unattended for too long.
Beets, they’re a nutritional powerhouse for sure but sometimes that’s just not enough to make us love them. Here’s a nice and different way to enjoy your beets. This has blood and liver cleansing properties as well as having those little probiotics that come with fermented foods. A glass of this in the morning is decidedly better for you than sugary orange juice. And god forbid you’ve imbibed a bit much the night before, this is sure to help. It’s like a natural Gatorade with the added benefit of helping your poor liver out a bit. I mean not that any of us responsible adults would ever do such a thing! 😊
2 large beets, or 4 smaller ones peeled and cubed
¼ C. whey (2 weeks ago you extracted whey from yogurt right? For that salsa? If not, instructions are below)
1 Tbsp kosher or sea salt
Place beets in a half gallon canning jar, or divide between two quart jars. Add whey and salt, then top with filtered water.
Either use an airlock lid or place a clean tea towel over the top and secure with a rubber band. You want airflow but don’t want critters and junk getting in there. Let sit at room temp for 2-3 days then replace the airlock or tea towel with a regular canning lid and place in the fridge.
*You can skim the whey off of a new tub of yogurt, regular (not greek) is much better for this. You can also strain plain yogurt in cheesecloth over a bowl and have enough whey for quite a few batches of salsa. It keeps for a week or more in the fridge. The remaining yogurt can be used like regular old greek yogurt. This does work best with nonfat or lowfat yogurt, they tend to give off more liquid when strained.
My intention was to include a zucchini bread recipe here, and then I stumbled across this recipe on SmittenKitchen.com. I had just finished eating a piece of rockfish with zucchini and immediately thought this would have been awesome on that piece of fish or some grilled chicken or tortilla chips of course. I know we probably don’t need another use for those tasty little melons other than just shoveling them straight into our faces, but maybe you can spare a few slices to make this. Mango salsa is soooo 2012, cantaloupe salsa is what all the cool kids are doing.
If all you’ve got is a watermelon, that would be equally as tasty but you’ll have to seed it.
2 cups small diced cantaloupe
1/4 cup diced sweet onion or red onion or shallot
2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil or cilantro
1 fresh hot red or green chile (skip the seeds if you want to dim the heat), minced
2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
1/4 teaspoon salt
Mix everything and eat immediately.